Bishopbriggs lad Paul Don has been shortlisted for a Uk-wide construction award after impressing judges with his commitment and positive attitude.
The second year construction management apprentice at East Dunbartonshire Council has made it to the
final stages of the APSE National Apprentice of the Year Awards and will find out next month how he has fared against opposition from across the country.
After being named Student of the Year while studying for his HNC in Building Services Engineering at North Glasgow College, Paul was also offered two university places but keen to get out into the world of work, the 21-year-old opted instead to take on a four year apprenticeship with the council.
He said, “I was never sure that full-time education was the right route for me and when I heard about the Council’s Modern Apprenticeship I thought I could enjoy the mix of working, learning on the job and studying – while getting paid of course.
“I have loved my first year and can’t believe the scale and variety of projects I’ve been involved with, including working on flagship projects like new schools and a community centre. My colleagues and bosses are really supportive and it’s great being part of a team. I know I’ve made the right choice and am very excited to be up for this award.”
Council Leader Rhondda Geekie, said: “Paul is a remarkable young man who has thrown himself fully into his new role and everyone who has worked with him has been struck by his positivity and hard work. To be selected from a UK-wide field is no mean feat and I wish him well for the final stages.”
Paul’s success to date is as a result of his determination to succeed despite the challenges he faces, having found out only a few years ago that he has Dyslexia and Mears-Irlene Syndrome (MIS). MIS is a form of visual stress which leads to difficulties with fine vision tasks such as reading. This eye condition was identified in 1980 and although the condition is not yet fully understood, it is known to affect reading ability. The condition affects about 50% of dyslexics
Paul said: “I had struggled sitting my Standard Grades and Highers and was determined to achieve more. I went onto college and as well as my HNC I tackled higher and Advanced Higher mathematics and physics. I never thought I could do that but it has given me confidence to take on bigger and better challenges.”